Virginia 2023 General Assembly Session Report

The 2023 session officially adjourned Sine Die on Saturday, February 25. During the “short session,” 2,863 bills and resolutions were introduced by members of the General Assembly. Eight hundred nineteen bills have passed both the House and the Senate and will be heading to the Governor for his amendments, signature, or veto in the coming days. The General Assembly will return to Richmond on April 12 for the annual 1-day reconvene session to consider actions proposed by Governor Youngkin. As of February 26, no bills have yet been communicated to the Governor.

The General Assembly did not complete its work on amendments to the biennial budget. Instead, they adjourned with only a “skinny budget,” which included a handful of amendments, including adjustments related to the average daily members changes for K-12 education, appropriating over $400 million to the Rainy-Day Fund and investments to the Virginia Retirement System and the Capital Supplement Fund. It is rumored that the budget conferees will continue to meet to finalize additional budget amendments, and the General Assembly will return to Richmond for a Special Session by the end of the month.

In Virginia, a budget must be presented to the General Assembly 48 hours before a vote can take place. After the final budget passage, the Governor has the right to make line-item amendments to the budget. The Governor can add or remove funding as well as add budget language; however, a Governor cannot veto budget language that does not have funding attached to the line item unless he does a veto of every line in the entire section. If a budget is finalized in late March/early April, the General Assembly will likely return to Richmond for a second veto session. 

This session brought many new faces, as Holly Siebold (D) and Ellen Campbell (R) were sworn into the House of Delegates on the first day of the session. In addition, Senator Aaron Rouse (D) was elected to fill Senate District 7 in Virginia Beach after Jen Kiggans was elected to Congress in November 2022. The entire General Assembly is up for re-election in November. Due to redistricting, numerous incumbents have been drawn into the same district and faced primaries. This led to a higher-than-normal number of Delegates and Senators announcing retirements, including Senators Saslaw, Edwards, Norment, and Delegates Bell, Byron, Plum, Avoli, Edmunds, Robinson, Ransone, and Murphy. There are rumors of more retirements that will be announced by April 6 (the last day to file paperwork for the 2023 Election). In addition, Jennifer McClellan was elected to Congress in a Special Election on February 21, and Delegate Lamont Bagby won the primary to fill her seat in the March Special Election.

Additional updates from the 2023 Session:

Legislation: If signed into law, the legislation below will become effective July 1.

●       HB 2251 Dentists and dental hygienists; DHP shall convene a workgroup to analyze licensure requirements. The legislation passed both chambers unanimously and is heading to Governor Youngkin!

●       SB 1539 Dentistry; botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes. The legislation passed the Senate 39-0 and the House of Delegates 87-9.

Other bills of note that passed this legislative session:

●       HB 1426 - Tata - Human trafficking; continuing education required for the biennial renewal of licensure.

●       HB 1452 - Orrock - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; appointment of sworn unit investigators to Unit, powers, and duties.

●       HB 2158 - Fariss - DMAS; Department shall evaluate its ability to comply with certain federal regulations.    

●       HB 2190 - Rasoul - Managed care organizations; data collection and reporting requirements, report.

●       HB 2262 - Hodges - Health insurance; online credentialing system, processing of new applications.

●       SB 1060 - Favola - DPOR, et al.; disclosure of certain information.

●       SB 1261 - Dunnavant - Health insurance; electronic prior authorization and disclosure of certain prescription drug inform.